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Sainz heads Ferrari 1-2 in final practice


Ahead of today's practice session the air temperature is 19.3 degrees C, while the track temperature is 32 degrees. Like yesterday, it is windy but with a lot more cloud. Nevertheless, we are assured that there is 0% chance of rain.

The big news is the following his crash, Mercedes has opted to change Hamilton's chassis, while, in case you hadn't seen our report, Perez has dropped to 13th on the grid for the Sprint after exceeding the track limits in Q2 - a misdemeanour that wasn't sported until Q3 was underway.

With the grid already decided for the Sprint, this morning will be about finalising for that as well as preparing for tomorrow.

Among those seeking a significant step forward will be McLaren and AlphaTauri.

With a (very) strict curfew in place work on Hamilton's car is ongoing, and it could be some time before the Briton emerges.

The lights go green and Zhou leads the way, followed by Bottas, Magnussen, Schumacher and Norris. As more drivers head out it is a mixture of mediums and softs.

Though Russell is using his original chassis, such was the damage that his car too is still being worked on, with Mercedes hopeful of getting both drivers out "mid-session". Both drivers have been issued with new gearboxes but without penalty.

Norris (softs) posts an 11.410 as Bottas crosses the line at 12.309.

Leclerc posts a 10.353 but Sainz responds with a 9.833, as the Bulls finally head out. Both Ferrari drivers are on mediums.

Verstappen (softs) advised of a tailwind into Turn 3, headwind into Turn 4 and tailwind out of Turn 4.

Tailwind, headwind or no wind, the Dutchman posts a 9.170 to go top, as Perez goes fifth with a 10.861.

The Aston Martin pair, who both failed to get beyond Q1 yesterday, are the only runners on hard.

Ricciardo posts an 11.133 to go sixth, ahead of Albon, Tsunoda, Schumacher and Bottas.

Twelve minutes into the session and Russell heads out. "Incredible job by the crew with such a tight turnaround," says the German team.

On the mediums, Gasly improves to fourth (9.829), as Russell goes sixth with a 10.149.

As Russell (softs) improves to third (9.240), splitting the Ferraris, with 40:00 remaining, along with Hamilton, the Alpine pair are the only other no-shows.

"We'll do a little running in the latter half of P2," says Otmar Szafnauer, the American, who believes his team is the fourth quickest, feeling that conditions will be more representative then.

Russell, feeling that his overtake button isn't working, argues the point with his engineer, who thinks otherwise.

With 32:00 remaining, the Alpines head out, as Albon goes sixth (9.975) in the upgraded Williams.

On his first flying lap, Alonso (softs) goes fourth (9.487), while Ocon (also softs) goes sixth (9.721).

On the mediums, Verstappen consolidates his top spot with an 8.966.

The Aston Martin pair swap their hards for mediums.

PBs in all three sectors see Perez improve to fifth with a 9.421 on the mediums.

"I have no grip, sliding around a lot," reports Russell.

On softs, Zhou improves to ninth with a 9.665.

Leclerc (softs) goes quickest (8.660) having gone quickest in the middle sector.

As Ocon (mediums) goes third (8.848), the top three covered by just 0.188s. That's a 3-4 for Alpine.

In the Mercedes garage it appears work on Hamilton's car will soon be completed.

Bottas improves to 8th with a 9.251.

Leclerc has completed the most laps (28), ahead of Sainz (26), Norris and Vettel (25).

Perez told he's losing out in Turns 1, 7, 9 and 10, in terms of mid-corner speed.

Quickest in the opening sector only, Sainz crosses the line at 8.610 to go quickest overall.

An 8.832 sees Alonso leapfrog his teammate for fourth, as Russell switches to hards, the Briton looking ahead to tomorrow's race.

"Three more times, okay to push to the end, no managing," Schumacher is told.

Hamilton finally heads out, with 13:52 remaining. The seven-time champion is on softs.

Hamilton's first flying lap (9.350) is good enough for 9th.

Schumacher pits, gets out of his car, disappears then returns and gets back in. Obviously the sort of 'comfort break' we usually experience in the middle of the night.

Completing a handful of laps on the softs, Hamilton pits and switches to the mediums.

Experiencing a little snap as he exits Turn 9, Leclerc advises the team that they could probably see it on the monitors.

Running wide at Turn 10, Vettel fears something has fallen from his car.

A somewhat nondescript session comes to an end, with Sainz quickest, ahead of Leclerc, Verstappen, Alonso, Ocon, Perez, Russell, Bottas, Hamilton and Norris.

Stroll is eleventh, ahead of Gasly, Vettel, Zhou, Schumacher, Albon, Ricciardo, Magnussen, Tsunoda and Latifi.

Check out our Saturday gallery from Spielberg here.


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